100 Favorite Dishes: Roasted cauliflower salad from Euclid Hall

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No. 87: Roasted cauliflower salad from Euclid Hall

Nobody loves cauliflower. It's pathetically ugly, resembling, even on its best days, a human brain, and when it's cooked -- specifically overcooked -- the florets pollute the air with the stink of sulfur. It's a favored Shylock of institutions and the pokey, the kind of food that you'd only wish on your nemesis, and even then, you might think twice about it. Unless it's the roasted cauliflower salad from Euclid Hall, which makes you choke on everything you've ever spewed about the lowly vegetable.

And for that you can thank Jorel Pierce, the 27-year-old wunderkind who spearheads the kitchen at this citadel of pigs' ears, bone marrow and blood sausages -- and, as it turns out, cauliflower, which he roasts and arranges in perfect file on a long, oval, stark white plate surfaced with a shisito pepper marmalade that's smoky and sweet with a slight jolt of heat. Pierce pumps up the plate with sprightly green onions, tempura shatterings and dabs of goat cheese, creating a symphony of textures and flavors that makes you drop your fork in resignation. Cauliflower, at least from this kitchen, will make even the steeliest skeptic a true believer.

Hungry for more? All the dishes in our countdown are linked below:

No. 100: Italian wedding soup from the Squeaky Bean No. 99: American Classic Burger (and fries) from Tarbell's No. 98: E's clam linguini from Mangiamo Pronto No. 97: Queso a la plancha taco from the Pinche Tacos wagon No. 96: Prosciutto-wrapped jalapeño poppers from Tony's Market No. 95: Fried chicken from the Pinyon No. 94: Seafood soup from Farro No. 93: Posole from The Porker No. 92: Breakfast Burrito from the Taco Wagon in Lafayette No. 91: Hummus from Shish Kabob Grill No. 90: Albondigas meatballs from Solera No. 89: Lemon-ricotta doughnuts from Olivéa No. 88: Döner kabob from Shondiz

In late 2009, we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- one hundred, to be exact -- as a precursor to the Best of Denver issue. Now we're back with round two, counting down (in no particular order) a hundred more of our favorite Denver dishes in a list that, by our imperfect calculations, should be wrapped up by the time the Best of Denver 2011 hits the streets on March 31. In the meantime, if there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at lori.midson@westword.com.

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